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2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: The Hammer lives on

By James Riswick

“It’s the descendant of the ‘Hammer,’” noted Nick Martin, AMG product manager for the United States. “This really is how AMG got its start.”

Indeed, even though other AMG models have overshadowed the E63 in recent years, its predecessor arguably put Mercedes’ firm from Affalterbach on the map. The 500E, affectionately known as the Hammer, was produced from 1991 to 1994 and kick-started the idea of a performance-tuned, factory-built version of Mercedes’ otherwise ubiquitous midsize sedan. The E55 AMG of the 1990s cemented the idea further.

Now, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show continues in this tradition, introducing several new elements to the AMG family. It is the first model to get this particular version of AMG’s 4.0-liter V8, featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger in place of the single-scroll unit found in the AMG GT. That advancement contributes to a staggering 563 horsepower in the E63 and 603 hp in the E63S. To put that into perspective, the twin-turbo V12 in the “65″ AMG models produces 621 hp. Of course, that engine still has a substantial torque advantage, but 553 and 627 pound-feet, respectively, is nothing to sneeze at. Nor is the E63 S’ 0-60-mph estimate of 3.3 seconds

Continue reading 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: The Hammer lives on

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: The Hammer lives on originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Nov 2016 17:01:00 EST.

 

Mercedes G500 4×4 coming to America?

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

Would it be a good decision for Mercedes to bring its bonkers G500 4×4² to the United States? We think so, and our guess is that you do too. So, when we hear reports that Bart Herring, Mercedes’ US general manager of product planning says the company is “very close to a good decision” about bringing the bruising ‘ute to America, well, we’re just as pleased as punch.

In case you need a refresher, the G500 4×4² picks up where the Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6 left off, albeit while also leaving off two of its wheels. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the four-wheeled version is surely a more nimble mount with which to attack some off-road obstacles. That practically makes it practical, right?

Powering the G500 4×4² is a twin-turbo V8 engine spinning out 422 horsepower to all four wheels. As you can quite clearly see, it’s also lifted way up off the ground, and it features portal axles for ultimate ground clearance. We don’t know what it would wind up costing here in the States, but in Germany, where the 4×4² is already on sale, it rings the registers to the tune of €226,100. That’s just over $255,000 at current exchange rates, though actual pricing would surely differ from that figure.

To sell or not to sell… that is the question. And hopefully, we won’t have to wait terribly long for the answer. Make “a good decision,” Mercedes. You know you want to.

Mercedes G500 4×4 coming to America? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2016 17:01:00 EST.

 

BMW M760i all dressed up for hundredth birthday festivities

By Noah Joseph

BMW is the latest automaker to be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. So to mark the occasion, the Bavarian automaker is rolling out a special anniversary edition of its flagship 7 Series sedan.

Somewhat awkwardly labeled as the BMW Individual 7 Series THE NEXT 100 YEARS, the celebratory edition features a number of special touches to set it apart. The bodywork is painstakingly painted in a unique shade of Centennial Blue metallic, with two-tone 20-inch wheels and handcrafted emblems. The interior meanwhile is highlighted by off-white, fine-grain leather – quilted and trimmed with hand-woven piping – with matching Alcantara headliner and piano-black trim.

Of course there are the requisite special badges inside and out, and each sedan comes with a specially made Montblanc fountain pen. Only 100 examples will be made for distribution worldwide, with three different engineoptions depending on the market. The US market will only get five examples based on the recently revealedM760i xDrive performance model, complete with 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 driving 610 horsepower to all four wheels. As a special version of Munich’s top-of-the-line luxury sedan, pricing will surely fall within “if you have to ask” territory, so we’ll just wish BMW a happy birthday and rest assured that each of the hundred individually numbered examples will find a good home.

BMW M760i all dressed up for hundredth birthday festivities originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:05:00 EST.

 

 

Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet is the ultimate drop-top Benz

By Noah Joseph

Searching for the ne plus ultra convertible from Mercedes-Benz? You’re looking at it. The new Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet combines the best features of every model at the top of the German automaker’s range, and leaves little to be desired.

The new flagship cabrio is based on the S-Class convertible, but packs AMG’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 – all 630 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of it. It’s the same engine that powers the S65 sedan and S65 coupe, as well as the SL65 roadster and G65 sport-ute. The engine is still built by hand by an individual AMG technician, but now that takes place at the Daimler engine plant in Mannheim.

This is the first time that Mercedes is offering this engine in a four-seat convertible. As such, it encompasses all the creature comforts of the S-Class cabrio, including a fully automatic three-layer fabric top, airscarf system, and a bodyshell claimed to be just as rigid as the coupe’s… only now it packs more punch. In addition to that monstrous engine, AMG fitted the convertible with a sport-tuned air suspension, 20-inch wheels (designed to look even bigger in motion), optional carbon-ceramic brakes, ultra-shiny brightwork, and a lightweight lithium-ion battery to offset the weight of the massive output up front.

With power transmitted to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission, the S65 cabriolet will rocket to 62 in 4.1 seconds. It’s electronically limited to top out at 155 miles per hour – but will hit 186 on the Autobahn with the roof down and the optional AMG Driver’s package specified.

Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet is the ultimate drop-top Benz originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Dec 2015 10:17:00 EST.

 

2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC features AMG version with turbo V6

By Alex Kierstein

As part of the huge revamping of the entire Mercedes-Benz lineup, a heavily revised 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 and Mercedes-AMG SLC43 will replace the previous SLK variants. Most of the good parts are back: a folding hardtop, optional sport suspension and exhaust, and a hardish-core AMG version. The new name is intended to draw the roadster closer to the mechanically related C-Class.

The basic SLC300 will be powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four, turbocharged to 241 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, with 273 lb-ft of torque available as low as 1,300 rpm. Those stats might look familiar, because the engine and output figures carry over from the SLK300. The last shift-it-yourself Mercedes offered here was the SLK250; don’t expect things to change with the new nomenclature. The 9G-Tronic automatic transmission is fitted across the board for both SLC variants, including the AMG.

The biggest difference SLK-to-SLC change comes in the SLC43, which supersedes the SLK55. Gone is the naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8, and in its place is a twin-turbo V6 that seems an awful lot like the engine fitted to the revised C450 AMG and 2017 SL450 – neither of which are full-blown AMG models. As in those cars, this 3.0-liter biturbo six produces 362 hp at 5,500 rpm, and 384 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. AMG claims to have tuned the engine management software and increased boost, but the numbers don’t tell the tale. Maybe the proof is in the driving experience.

Compared to its V8-powered predecessor, the SLC43 gives up 54 hp, 14 lb-ft of torque, and 0.1 second to 60 miles per hour. The upshot, according to AMG, is less weight and greater efficiency. Many of the AMG essentials you’d expect are present: stiffer suspension, more aggressive front and rear clips, and requisite interior trim and badging. Optional are a handling package with a mechanical limited-slip differential and AMG’s Ride Control adaptive adjustable suspension.

The SLC300 also has some notable enhancements. On the safety front, radar-based Active Brake Assist – which automatically brakes to prevent rear-end collisions – is now standard. Dynamic LED headlights are now optional. Inside, a new 7-inch high-resolution COMAND infotainment screen replaces a much smaller, 5.8-inch unit, and the gauge cluster features a 4.5-inch TFT display.

The new SLC will launch in Spring of 2016.

2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC features AMG version with turbo V6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Dec 2015 18:01:00 EST.

 

Mercedes gets handy with Apple Watch app

By Noah Joseph

Whether you yourself have been caught up in Apple Watch fever or not, automakers have been embracing the new wearable device one after the other. The latest is Mercedes-Benz.

The MB Companion App for the Apple Watch initially focuses on seamless navigation. Punch in your destination on your watch or iPhone and it’ll port over to the onboard navigation system in your Merc. Park the car, get out and the directions will switch back over to the Apple Watch to guide you from your parking spot to your destination on foot. It’s similar to the app Mercedes had designed for Google Glass, only in this application it actually stands a chance of catching on.

Designed by Benz’s Silicon Valley R&D center, the Apple Watch app is being rolled out this fall in the new C-Class and S-Class equipped with the COMAND Online navigation system. It’s earmarked to to spread to other models as well, with further updates to the app planned to allow it to display the vehicle’s fuel level, range, odometer and maintenance code.

Of course, Mercedes isn’t the first automaker to release an app for the Apple Watch. It’s not even the first German automaker to do so: BMW previewed its app for the device back in September, and Volkswagen got on board earlier this month.

 

Mercedes gets handy with Apple Watch app originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 May 2015 09:14:00 EST.

 

Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 squares up for production

By Noah Joseph

After showcasing the G500 4×4² in concept form at the Geneva Motor Show this past March, Mercedeshas confirmed that it’s putting the monster truck into production.

The Mercedes G500 4×4² is a more extreme take on the legendary Geländewagen. It ditches the extra set of wheels from the earlier G63 AMG 6×6, but keeps its wider track and jacked-up suspension, complete with portal axles, 22-inch wheels, 325/55-section tires, and a good foot and a half of ground clearance. It also loses the AMG-spec engine in favor of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 422 horsepower, based on the unit in the C63 and AMG GT.

The smaller engine (and smaller axle-count) makes its list price a little easier to swallow than the half-million Benz commanded for the 6×6, but it’ll still be a rather large pill. Pricing in Germany is listed at €226,100 – equivalent to over $250k at current exchange rates. That makes it the second most expensive version of the G-Class currently available, behind the G65 that retails for €271,915 (~$309k) in Germany and $217,900 in the US.

MBUSA tells Autoblog that there are currently no plans for bringing the G500 4×4² to North America. But if it were to ford the Atlantic, it would likely carry a price tag in the neighborhood of $200k for the privilege of riding higher than just about any other commercially available passenger vehicle on the road.

Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 squares up for production originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jun 2015 19:05:00 EST.

 

2015 Mercedes-AMG G65 Review

By Jonathon Ramsey

A German friend who lives in Munich told me she might have to retrieve her car from Innsbruck, Austria while I was in Germany to visit her. I said I’d be happy to chauffeur her to the Tyrol in a Mercedes-AMG G65. She responded to the offer with this question: “You mean – in the G65 Rap Train?”

I had no idea what it meant, but the name stuck. Her reasoning was that I would be taken for an American rapper, because what other black American would be cruising south, East, and west Germany for ten days in a 272,000-euro, 5,676-pound chunk of… well, let’s just say it: bling.

Mercedes created the G65 by installing its 604 horsepower, 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V12 in the G-Class engine bay, and laying oodles of quilted leather inside the cabin. Introduced to markets outside the US in 2012, it sat above the twin-turbo, V8-powered G63 that remained the top-of-the-line here. After years of denial, US buyers will finally get their chance to buy the G65 in November for $217,900.

2015 Mercedes-AMG G65 Review originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:58:00 EST.

 

A German friend who lives in Munich told me she might have to retrieve her car from Innsbruck, Austria while I was in Germany to visit her. I said I’d be happy to chauffeur her to the Tyrol in a Mercedes-AMG G65. She responded to the offer with this question: “You mean – in the G65 Rap Train?”

I had no idea what it meant, but the name stuck. Her reasoning was that I would be taken for an American rapper, because what other black American would be cruising south, East, and west Germany for ten days in a 272,000-euro, 5,676-pound chunk of… well, let’s just say it: bling.

Mercedes created the G65 by installing its 604 horsepower, 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V12 in the G-Class engine bay, and laying oodles of quilted leather inside the cabin. Introduced to markets outside the US in 2012, it sat above the twin-turbo, V8-powered G63 that remained the top-of-the-line here. After years of denial, US buyers will finally get their chance to buy the G65 in November for $217,900.

BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp

By Chris Bruce

BMW appears to be approaching a big change in the way that it handles performance. First, the clutch pedal may be a goner from future M models, based on recent statements from the division’s boss, Frank van Meel. We also might not be seeing any significant increases in horsepower from some of these vehicles anytime soon.

“From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ‘boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption,” van Meel said to Autocar. Although, he left the door open slightly to keeping them at least in the near future. “It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have.”

Van Meel also suggested that the company is capping the output of M models at 600 horsepower. “We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits,” he said to Autocar.

That ceiling does leave some room to grow for future versions of the M3 and M4, which currently offer 425 hp. However, it means that the M5 and M6 with 560 hp are basically at the cap. The limited BMW M5 30th Anniversary Edition already packs 600 hp.

Rumors have suggested that the already spied, next-generation M5 might stick with around 600 hp. It seems unlikely for BMW to completely give up competing against the Autobahn-burning sedans from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Performance could still see a boost thanks to a reportedly lighter platform and optional all-wheel drive.

BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:30:00 EST.

 

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC250 Quick Spin

By Matthew Askari

he 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC is an all-new luxury crossover that replaces Benz’s compact GLK. We’re driving it right now, and will have a full first drive soon. But before this, we were granted some early access on a drive from Lithuania to Latvia – just enough to form some initial impressions.

As part of Mercedes‘ expansion with new models (and old models taking on new names) the GLC will no longer be the entry-level CUV for Mercedes – that title has been assumed by the GLA crossover. The GLC moves up not only in the hierarchical range, but grows 4.6 inches in the wheelbase, and is more roomy overall. Most evident, the GLC gets completely new styling, something that is immediately clear upon first glance. Mercedes says the 2016 GLC represents the future design direction for all its SUVs. Continuing the “Sensual Purity” design language of the new S-Class and C-Class, our Euro-spec GLC prototype is curvier, cleaner, and more modern than the more rugged-looking GLK. Mercedes says the US will have standard front and rear bumpers optimized for off-road use, with a 28-degree approach and departure angles for all variants.

Despite boasting four doors, the GLC has a coupe-like silhouette. Our model’s LED headlights, chrome-finished dual exhaust pipes, and large wheels (up to 20-inches) add to this sporty aesthetic. The real story however, is on the inside, where the GLC mimics the striking interior of the C-Class. Based on our model’s open-pore wood, flowing center console, and brushed metallic and piano-black finishes the GLC boasts the nicest interior in the class.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC250 Quick Spin originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:01:00 EST.